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DSST Fundamentals of counseling

Determinism is a fatalistic approach to life that

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Determinism is a fatalistic approach to life that believes a person “is who he is” and no amount of therapy or counseling will change the core person. Certainly the counseling profession would not be popular and successful today if determinism enjoyed widespread acceptance. Viktor Frankel developed logotherapy as a response to his own personal crisis. Counselors often have clients who are facing (or have faced) serious trauma or crisis including assault, rape, extreme discrimination, or medical illness (Cancer, AIDS). Logotherapy holds that the critical issue to embrace is not what is happening right now but how one thinks and feels about what is happening. Logotherapy is essentially the search for meaning in life and with clients who are in extreme despair it offers a way to reinterpret the tragedy surrounding them. Central to logotherapy is the ability to help clients positively reframe their current attitudes and beliefs. Reframing an attitude or belief starts with the recognition of the attitude or belief that is holding the person back. Then the situation is turned around to accentuate the positive attributes rather than the negative ones. Changing the meaning of an experience is often discovered by answered the simple question, “Was there anything you could see that was positive in that experience?” Allowing the client to explore the possibilities of anything positive usually results in one or two different ways to view the situation. Child sexual abuse is defined as “the exploitation of a child of any age for the person’s own satisfaction without any regard to the child’s developmental immaturity or inability to understand sexual behavior.” Child sexual abuse is becoming more openly talked about and admitted in our society and many counselors will have clients who were victims of child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse has a profound negative psychological effect on a person’s development and behavior and therapy focuses on the healing process. In order to cope with child sexual abuse, the adult survivor will often repress, deny, or minimize the history of their abuse. Survivors may even be consciously unaware that the abuse occurred so counseling this select population is has its own tools and techniques. Depression is the most common symptom experienced by sexual abuse. Survivors tend to be more suicidal than the general population of depressed individuals. Anxiety and tension are also common symptoms with the distress often manifesting itself in physical symptoms (somatization) such as sleep disorders, headaches, backaches, gastrointestinal disorders, etc… Victims of child sexual abuse tend to blame themselves so they suffer from high degrees of guilt and shame.
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